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Non-Renewable Energy

Updated: 6 days ago

Non-renewable energy is energy sources that exist in finite quantities and cannot be naturally replenished or regenerated. These energy resources are formed through natural processes, such as the decomposition of organic matter or the nuclear reactions occurring in the Earth’s core. Non-renewable energy plays a significant role in meeting our current energy demands but poses challenges due to its finite nature and environmental impact.

Nonrenewable energy resources include coal, natural gas, oil, nuclear energy, etc.


Non Renewable sources of energy

Coal

  • Around 55-60% of India’s energy requirements are met by coal. Four types of coal are found in India which are classified on the amount of Carbon found in them. They are Anthracite (85% carbon), Bituminous (50-85% carbon), Lignite (35-50% carbon), and Peat (35% carbon).

  • India is in 4th position among the top 5 coal manufacturing countries, with China at the top. States like Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, and West Bengal manufacture 70% of India’s coal.

  • The burning of Coal produces pollutants like CO2, SO2, NOx, etc. that are hazardous to human health. They can cause diseases like cancer, heart damage, respiratory disease, kidney disease, birth defects, impaired bones in children, etc.

  • While Coal combustion two types of ash are produced: Fly ash and Bottom ash. Both with their hazardous impacts on both the environment and human health. Still, they are used in road construction, cement clinker production, fertilizers, etc.

  • There is a major coal crisis in India due to reduced imports and high demand. The government is monitoring the issues closely and has taken several measures to increase coal production to the maximum. One of them is Coal Gasification/liquidification which is to be incentivized through rebate in revenue share. Coal Gasification and Liquefaction have advantages and applications.


Petroleum (Liquid Nature of Fuel)

  • The raw form of Petroleum is called ‘crude oil’, also known as Black Liquid. It is extracted from the ground and consists of hydrocarbons and different chain lengths of hydrocarbon that yield different components. There are two standard measures through which we project the quality of the petrol: Research Octane Number (RON) and Compression Ratio (CR).

  • During the distillation of petroleum, a highly viscous brown/black colored hydrocarbon known as Asphalt is produced. An alternative to Asphalt called Bioasphalt is made from non-petroleum-based renewable resources like sugar, rice, starch, raisins, etc.


Difference between renewable and non-renewable sources of energy

Gaseous Fuel

The most common gaseous fuel i.e. Natural Gas contains 87-92% Methane. The gases differ according to the different temperatures and pressures. Other gas fuels are LPG, PNG, CNG, and LNG.

There are some other unconventional gas sources like:

  • Coal Bed Methane: It is used in power generation, feedstock for fertilizers, etc.

  • Bio Gas: India has a great capacity to produce it due to its tremendous number of cattle that are a great source of raw material. The Gobardhan Scheme was launched in 2018 and is helpful for the nation in creating Bio Gas.

  • Gas Hydrates/Clathrates/Methane Hydrates: They appear as wet snow and are made of a combination of hydrocarbon gas and liquid.

  • Shale gas: It is a natural gas trapped in sedimentary rocks that can be extracted using horizontal drilling with hydraulic fracturing.


Hydrogen fuel: It is a zero-emission fuel and is an alternative fuel that can be used in fuel cells or internal combustion engines.

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